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How Trustworthy Is A V Ancient Coin Dealer?

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 15 / Views: 657Next Topic  
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72 Posts
 Posted 01/16/2022  12:42 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
One dealer of ancient coins (Judaea especially) in the Middle East seems to be selling quite a few at really low prices. My budget isn't big but I warm to the history that I can physically touch in each object so these appeal to me.

I get the warnings about eBay and am told V coins dealers can be trusted. Is this a cast iron assurance or just a hope by those who host the main site but one which is not actually bankable?
Valued Member
United Kingdom
407 Posts
 Posted 01/16/2022  1:40 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's not guaranteed, but on VCoins you know they're legitimate dealers who've had to be admitted (unlike eBay, where anyone could start selling fakes today) and must sign up to the code of ethics https://www.vcoins.com/en/CodeOfEthics.aspx

In practice this isn't the guarantee it should be. Some VCoins dealers add artificial patina to their genuine coins, possibly including the one you're looking at, which seems to go against rule 13:

13. I will not intentionally misrepresent items I sell, including the use of misleading images, historical conjecture, unsubstantiated provenance or pedigree, or other tactics that may artificially inflate the perceived value of an item.

Also, I'm pretty sure some aren't strictly able to 'substantiate the provenance or pedigree' they describe, but that's a grey area.

Having said that, VCoins are not going to allow persistent sellers of fakes to stay on their site, in marked contrast to eBay. I've not heard of someone buying a fake on VCoins that they weren't able to return, and there are far fewer fakes than on eBay. VCoins is also a great place to find honest dealers, as most are. (The same dealers are on eBay too, but you can't find them so easily).

To be fair, Judaea must be one of the hardest regions to collect in terms of avoiding fakes. Lots of people want the coins who know nothing about them, so fakes are easy to sell. VCoins gives you a chance. You can definitely trust dealers like Marc Breitsprecher https://mrbcoins.com/ or Numiscorner https://www.numiscorner.com/search?...type=product, who might have Judaean coins at lower prices.

Your alternative is the big auction houses - you will pay more but you will know it's real or you have a cast-iron guarantee.
Edited by JohnConduitt
01/16/2022 2:10 pm
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 Posted 01/16/2022  2:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Palouche to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
.....Yes completely agree with John....Personally I have 4 dealers on vcoins that I buy from regularly....This helps as you build a relationship with them allowing you to discuss certain aspects of a coin you're interested in....Better photos, provenance, layaway and of course postage..etc....Once both parties have confidence in each other very/very rarely are there any problems and are always easily remedied!
If you're unsure you can always post the said coin here and for sure you'll receive good guidance.....
Good luck and enjoy!.....Paul
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 Posted 01/16/2022  2:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@ger, while there is quite a bit of overlap in terms of dealers, I like ma-shops a bit better than vcoins for my non-US coin purchases. With that said, I've also been very happy with my purchases from vcoins dealers over the years. For further research, I recommend you use the name of the specific dealer as a keyword in the CCF search box in the upper left hand corner of your screen. You should also consider looking through the sticky threads in this subforum that cover known dealers of fakes and trusted dealers. Here is one link to get you started:

http://goccf.com/t/285634
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz
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 Posted 01/16/2022  7:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Some VCoins dealers add artificial patina to their genuine coins, possibly including the one you're looking at, which seems to go against rule 13


With his "which seems to", John is more generous than I would be with this particular group of sellers. One has the dubious distinction of being the only VCoins dealer to have earned a spot on Warren Esty's Fake Sellers list:
http://augustuscoins.com/ed/fakesellers.html#Z

But, of course, there are a lot of great dealers on VCoins. I agree that Marc Breitsprecher is among them. Among my favorites - and most trusted - are Ken Dorney, Wayne Sayles, and Chip Vaughn of Vaughn Rare Coin Gallery. You'd do well to check the inventory at the EBay store linked from that dog at the top of the ancients/medieval board. Dr. Sinski's Ancients - a.k.a. louisvillekyshop, a.k.a. Cody111111, has earned a lot of repeat customers through good service and dependability. He (Joe) sometimes lists Judaeans.

Edited by Bob L
01/16/2022 7:42 pm
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 Posted 01/17/2022  06:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Kushanshah to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
VCoins is still the best single platform for retail purchases of ancient coins in my opinion. As I understand it, VCoins was originally conceived as an alternative which would help put smaller, mostly American, dealers on an even playing field with larger firms. Initially, vetting was very strict and there were few enough dealers that monitoring must have been relatively easy. However, the original site owner sold a majority share to overseas interests about a decade ago and from that point, the bar has lowered a bit (in my opinion). It's interesting that as of today (based on VCoins search engine returns) fully 2/3 (233,206) of all the listings (350,244) on VCoins belong to a single French firm! That said, this French firm is primarily a dealer in modern coins and a number of the original ancient coin specialists from the early days of VCoins are still in place. Bear in mind that all of the VCoins shops are independent businesses and VCoins itself is only a platform offering turnkey webshops and a group search function. It isn't hard to figure out who are the veteran firms with sterling reputations and who are the 'new kids' on the block. If you encounter a problem, VCoins support has always been customer-focused in my experience.
Edited by Kushanshah
01/17/2022 06:53 am
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2022  05:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you all for your advice. This is very helpful and I am drawing up a list of dealers who I have seen recommended on this site.

My only slight reservation about buying from American dealers (I'm in the UK) is that we have to then pay various customs duties as well as higher shipping costs to buy from them.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2022  1:15 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
One has the dubious distinction of being the only VCoins dealer to have earned a spot on Warren Esty's Fake Sellers list:


Yes, that's the one I was thinking of.

My... looking at that list. It's a nightmare.

Just seen one ebay seller starting an auction for an Antiochus I thunderbolt Soter at 3 euros. V coins examples are 100 euros to 150. There's no way any dealer with a coin like that would set a price so low unless they knew it was fake (surely?).

His ebay shop page states "eBay Top-rated seller: One of eBay's most reputable sellers" with 11,000 sales in the last 12 months. His postage charge to the UK is way over the reasonable limit ('Standard'- ie not special or tracked - at 18 euros whereas the actual cost is closer to 5 euros) and, significantly, "No returns accepted".

He has just 5 negatives - inc one from someone who bought a coin which was the wrong weight and who sent the 'piece of scrap metal' (I think that's the sense of the German) back to him.

He's not on anyone's list.

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United Kingdom
407 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2022  4:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
My only slight reservation about buying from American dealers (I'm in the UK) is that we have to then pay various customs duties as well as higher shipping costs to buy from them.


Sometimes, you don't have to pay a customs charge, especially on cheaper coins https://www.gov.uk/goods-sent-from-...tax-and-duty

I'm in the UK, and if a US dealer sends me a low value coin through the post, very often it will arrive with no additional fees. If it's a higher value item and sent with a courier, you always have to pay customs duties. I've paid fees on 30% of my 'imported' coins. The worst fee is the courier's handling fee, which can be 15 to charge you 2 duties - avoid couriers on lower value coins.

In theory, dealers and auction houses have to charge you VAT when you buy the coin and send that to HMRC themselves i.e. included in the price, as they do their local taxes. (This is what a lot of the confusion around eBay fees is about - individual US states and the EU and have similar tax collection requirements now). In theory, if they don't, the Royal Mail should charge you - which means you can get a bill for 0.20 VAT and 8 handling charges.


Quote:
My... looking at that list. It's a nightmare.

It isn't that bad. Once you know a dozen good dealers, you can get a lot of coins. Just avoid anyone you're not sure about. There are plenty more.


Quote:
There's no way any dealer with a coin like that would set a price so low unless they knew it was fake (surely?).

Probably not. They might have a reserve (but it would say 'reserve not met'). It is possible they expect it to get up to the true value (like Heritage start theirs at $1) but that's quite a bold strategy on eBay. They might end up bidding themselves if it is genuine...


Quote:
His ebay shop page states "eBay Top-rated seller: One of eBay's most reputable sellers" with 11,000 sales in the last 12 months. He has just 5 negatives.

None of this means much on eBay. You're a top seller just by selling a lot. A lot of fakes, even. You can get negatives removed by appealing to eBay.


Quote:
No returns accepted

This can be a sign of a seller of fakes, or a seller who doesn't want to deal with 'bad buyers' who find all sorts of reasons to return things and even try to scam sellers. But legally, if the item is not as described, 'No returns accepted' doesn't work and eBay should ensure you can return it.


Quote:
He's not on anyone's list.

He might've changed name. He might not be selling fakes after all. No-one may have noticed his fakes. But do a Google search for 'dealer name' and 'fake' and see if anything comes up. And check if he has a location - and it isn't Bulgaria.
Edited by JohnConduitt
01/18/2022 4:43 pm
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 Posted 01/18/2022  5:26 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I used to have a lot of buyers from the UK. Now if I have something special they can't get anywhere else they just pay the 20% but like I said very very few UK people buy anymore. I still have from time to time, quite often actually, people from the UK writing in saying this charge is incorrect which it might be. But I can't ship any other way except the eBay international shipping these days so they get charged. Hopefully the roads and bridges are in better repair over their and the money goes to good use. Had another buyer recently who had a German address. He wrote to me, and asked for the coins to be written as worth a lot less on the invoice and I said I had to follow the rules sorry. Then he changed his address and said look, my home is in Armenia now and that was my friends address, but I don't ship to Armenia. Then he changed his address to California and he has a friend there as well and I sent the invoice. He was not happy with the California tax either and I wondered if he might find a friend in a state without an internet sales tax. But he finally paid and was happy in the end. I think this wore him out.
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 Posted 01/18/2022  5:43 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And gerio2, as for a guarantee that is actually bankable, if you are dealing with a long term seller who is in the top rated plus program, you can first send anything back within a month even if you just got bored and eBay has open control of our funds. I get notes saying they automatically accepted a return and when they see it hits my mailbox the money will be refunded. So in that program anyway, you have the guarantee, but you have to pick the dealer correctly. VCOINS is a more important place to buy from in my opinion if you want a specific coin as a model like mine can't stock any particular coin. Whatever I can get for a good price I sell and in 7 days it is over. So a real collector need the VCOINS people who have the patience to hold coins for years until they get their price they want and if you are searching for a coin only they can deliver it on demand. As for Judaeans in particular, you can get them at any price range as they come in such varied states. Often if you clean them enough to see the coin well that ore that was used is really something that corrodes in modern weather and they start bronze disease. Like in a drawer I keep for Judaeans I have desiccant packets as I just don't trust the coins. A good stable ancient patina is a must really to be happy but if you live on the coast of the UK and it is humid salty air you might accept you should never let them out of confinement.
Valued Member
United Kingdom
407 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2022  6:26 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
you can first send anything back within a month.

This is true and a good thing, but don't forget you wouldn't buy it if you thought it was fake. Often collectors find out much later - years even. So a 'forever' guarantee (which some dealers offer) is better.


Quote:
Very very few UK people buy anymore

This reminded me that quite a lot of US sellers won't ship abroad anymore. Some because of the new tax rules, some by being burned by overseas buyers. This includes some good sellers - Wayne Sayles, York Coins, Harford Coin Company. On VCoins you find out when it comes to check out.
Edited by JohnConduitt
01/18/2022 6:58 pm
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 Posted 01/18/2022  6:49 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
John Conduitt;

Well I do match lifetime and say so on each listing, have honored it years later after a coin came back as an electrotype from an NGC review. That said I also say once I die that is it as my wife won't know what the heck you are talking about. So not your lifetime, just mine.
Edited by louisvillekyshop
01/18/2022 6:49 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
407 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2022  7:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JohnConduitt to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Well I do match lifetime and say so on each listing, have honored it years later after a coin came back as an electrotype from an NGC review. That said I also say once I die that is it as my wife won't know what the heck you are talking about. So not your lifetime, just mine.

I hope I didn't sound like I was talking about you. That sounds like a fair deal!
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 Posted 01/18/2022  11:12 pm  Show Profile   Check louisvillekyshop's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add louisvillekyshop to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great example for you John Conduitt. Just happened tonight: Just got a note from eBay:

"The buyer started a return
The buyer has until Feb 8 to ship the item back. If you choose to refund the buyer now, then the return will close and you shouldn't expect to receive the item.
This return has been approved automatically, per the eBay returns policy."
Reason for return
"Just didn't like it"
Comments
"Had hoped the detail on the coin was a little better."
EBay note to seller:
" You must issue a refund within 2 days of item being delivered. "

I'd say that is pretty ironclad protection for the buyer. Since eBay has all my banking routing numbers, it is their world and I live in it. So VCOINS is bound by a personal pledge which is very nice for them. And I owe my soul to the company store as the old song goes.

Oh and by the way, the buyer does not feel this coin, an over 2300 year old coin, below has good enough letters and details for $21.50. Which I am probably into the coin of course as I don't get them free. A coin I had sent from Roma Numismatics in the UK by way of the Vitangelo collection which they have been selling off so you know I was not making any money at this price if you look at what I paid for these lots, common knowledge as open source to see.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/125081316132

Edited by louisvillekyshop
01/18/2022 11:25 pm
Valued Member
United Kingdom
72 Posts
 Posted 01/19/2022  04:16 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gerio2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Always helpful to get your combined wisdom. Thanks very much
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